Posts Tagged ‘pilot school’

Your Pilot Career Depends On The Type Of Flight Training You Choose

Your Pilot Career Depends On The Type Of Flight Training You ChooseThere are many ways to start training to be a pilot from doing a private course through to learning at a university.
It takes years of training to get licensed to become a pilot, and in particular to become an airline pilot. Having completed a university degree is often important for the majority of flight schools, although the military route can at times make this unnecessary. The college degree does not have to be an aviation focused however with many pilots having studied many in many fields including law and engineering.

A pilot’s pay is based on many different factors, including their seniority, rank, and the body type of aircraft flown. Working hours can range between 75 to 80 hours a month in most western airliners. As well as the popular airline pilot, there are many other roles which pilots take up, including conducting flight-testing, training, and managing and supervising pilot operations.

A pilot career can be a rewarding way to live your life and it is understandable why people choose to try and find their way into pilot jobs. At the same token, pilot jobs can be one of the hardest jobs to find your way into and the cost to cover your flight training to obtain your pilot’s license is high.

Pilot Career Options
  • The first thing you need to do before you start a pilot career is to obtain your private pilot’s license (PPL). If you are unsure as to whether you are interested in pilot jobs, many places will let you take a single pilot lesson to get the feel for a pilot career. Your private pilot license will allow you to fly on your own or with passengers but not for commercial reasons, meaning you will not get paid.
  • The next step in your journey for pilot jobs is to obtain your commercial pilot license. This is much more expensive and time consuming to obtain but it opens up a world of pilot jobs for you. You obtain your commercial pilot license from a certified flying school. Many people also train as a flying instructor as this builds up the number of flying hours required for the commercial license.
  • The other main method of finding civilian pilot jobs is to undertake an Airline Transport license and this will open up the opportunity to find pilot jobs within a passenger or freight airline. People looking for an airline pilot job will start as a first officer and then progress to a co-pilot job and finally a pilot job as a captain.
  • The military is another method of starting a pilot career and many people have done so using this method. The military pays for all of your training and provides you with thousands of flying hours in return for your period of service in potentially dangerous locations.
  • Regardless of which method you use to start your pilot career, you will need to undergo a medical examination and you will need to be both physically and mentally fit. To qualify for pilot jobs you will need to have excellent hearing and eyesight as well as good overall health. Good maths and science skills are also a benefit for pilot jobs. Source
What Type Of Pilot Should I Be

There are a variety of aviation pilot jobs, each with its own set of hiring requirements, benefits, and challenges. Benefits and compensation will vary according to the type and size of the company. For any pilot job, there is a considerable amount of flight training required. Some pilots received their training in the military and others through civilian training. For most of the pilot jobs, you must have at least a commercial pilot certificate, instrument and multi-engine ratings. The hiring requirements will vary for each airline and company.

There are two-three types of pilot positions with any airline or company: Captain, First Officer, and Flight Engineer. Compensation and some benefits at the airlines and most companies are all based on “seniority.” “Seniority” at an airline is based on a pilot’s date-of-hire. When a pilot is hired as a First Officer or Flight Engineer, he/she is assigned a seniority number at the bottom of the list. For example: When a new pilot is hired, he/she is assigned a seniority number at the bottom of the list such as 105 out of 105 pilots. Over time, the pilot will advance (move up) on the seniority list due to retirements, resignations, or other reasons pilots are removed from the seniority list. Advancing on the seniority list results in better work schedule, aircraft selection, job promotion (upgrading to Captain), route assignments, vacation time preferences, and other privileges.

There are several types of pilot jobs:
  • Agricultural Pilot
  • Test Pilot
  • Major/National Airline Pilot
  • Regional/Commuter Airline Pilot
  • Air Freight/Cargo Pilot
  • Helicopter Pilot
  • Corporate Pilot
  • Air Taxi or Charter Pilot
  • Flight Instructor
  • Military Pilot
  • Ferry Pilot
  • Astronaut
  • Other Pilot Jobs


An airline pilot job is not the only type of pilot job out there. There are pilots who fly small business jet airplanes and corporate pilots who fly Boeing type planes and they are equally happy with their choices.

Try to figure out your “pilot personality.” Different people are suited for different types of pilot careers. There’s nothing worse than putting your heart and soul into trying to become something that is not going to be gratifying to you for the rest of your career. By researching the different types of pilot careers out there, you can save time and money by focusing on attaining the skills that your dream pilot job requires. You can also use different pilot positions to build flight time according to your life plans. For instance, being away a lot may suit you just fine in the beginning of your career, but not so much later on in life.

Here is a list of pilot careers that you can start to research to see what lifestyle might fit you best:

  • Airline pilot
  • Cargo airline pilot
  • Regional airline pilot
  • Airline flight instructor pilot
  • Airline technical pilot
  • Air Charter/Air Taxi pilot
  • Seaplane / Amphibious Pilot (Corporate, Cargo, Scenic, etc.)
  • Corporate Pilot
  • Pilot for one specific corporation
  • Pilot for a company that offers the use of business jets to several corporations
  • Contract pilot who is represented by a contracting company
  • Test Pilot
  • Production test pilot
  • Experimental test pilot
  • Maintenance test pilot
  • Military Pilot
  • Fighter pilot
  • Military transport pilot
  • Military flight instructor
  • Military test pilot
  • Sales Demonstration Pilot
  • Chief Flight Instructor Pilot
  • Cropduster Pilot
  • Medical Ambulance Pilot
  • Photography Pilot


Pilot Training With Aviator Flight Training Academy

The programs at Aviator Flight School are designed to provide what the airline industry demands of future commercial pilots. The training you will receive at Aviator is one of the most intensive and challenging programs offered in aviation flight training today.

During your flight training you will fly a total of 259 hours, of which up to 200 hours will be in a multi-engine aircraft. The ground school portion is in a structured classroom environment. As the shortage of pilots continues to grow, Aviator College is consistently meeting with major air carriers to determine the flight training and education that they require.

You will receive a minimum of 643 instructional hours for the Professional Pilot Program.The instructional hours includes all ground and flight training. 6 months of shared housing is included in the price of the program. If you come with a Private Pilot License 5 months will be included in the price of the Program.

Upon completion of your flight training Aviator College encourages the graduating student to apply to stay on as a flight instructor.

Contact Aviator
Talk to flight instructor at Aviator, call 772-672-8222.


Associate Degree from Aviator College of Aeronautical Science & Technology

Associate Degree from Aviator College of Aeronautical Science & TechnologyAbout two-thirds of airline pilots will retire in the coming years and other areas of the aviation industry are also under-supplied with qualified applicants. Many airlines, especially in the United States, prefer applicants with a college degree. So why not let your flight training build up college credit and earn a degree?

From an employer’s point of view, a degree from a certified aviation science program shows a high level of commitment to the field. Most commercial airlines prefer applicants with college degrees. If you are already a licensed pilot, flight time and certificates can be counted towards your degree, saving both time and money. Entering the aviation job market with a degree in aviation will get you the advantage you need to get a job as a pilot.

An aviation degree is a good, and cost efficient, alternative to doing any other college degree first and then start flying like many students do today. You save time by doing the flight training while you work on a degree. At the same time you save money as the flight training build credit.

Why an Aviation School or Aviation College?

Aviation schools and aviation colleges provide the best learning and training environments for students to succeed and prepare for a career in aviation. You may already be aware of the many benefits of going to college such as better paying jobs, access to a wider range of career choices, and exposure to a wide range of people and cultures. Going to an aviation school or aviation college also has many benefits.

An aviation school or aviation college will allow you to:
  • Gain greater knowledge and expand your skills in a specific aviation career field.
  • Earn an aviation degree, an associate’s degree, and/or bachelor’s degree in an aviation program.
  • Access a wide range of aviation resources and tools to help you with your aviation career.
  • Participate in various aviation internship programs.
  • Increase your chances of networking with aviation employers to gain employment.
Associate Degree And Aviation Programs

An associate degree is a two-year degree awarded by community colleges, technical schools and universities in the US. Earning an associate degree usually means completing 60 college credits, the equivalent of two years of coursework. In order to earn one, students must typically complete general education courses, core classes required for the college major, and electives. This degree is sufficient for work in some fields, while other positions may require completion of additional education.

Receiving an Associate Degree

Receiving an associate degree usually requires about two years of education, though this can vary depending on the individual program a student completes. Schools often require introductory and core curriculum courses, such as language studies and mathematics. Students also take additional classes that focus on the degree subject, such as computer science or healthcare.
While this study is not usually as specialized or focused as degrees that require many more years of classes, it can give a valuable overview needed for additional schooling or employment in certain fields.

Why Associate Degree

Length of Time. Students who do not wish to pursue a four-year bachelor’s degree often prefer the shorter length of an associate program.

Financial Reasons. Students can also save money by attending a junior or community college for the first two years of their post-secondary career; an associate degree usually transfers quite easily to a more expensive four-year college.

Adding On. You can continue your studies and pursue Bachelor’s Degree having Associate Degree in hand.
After earning an associate degree from an accredited school, a graduate can often apply these credits toward a bachelor’s degree program. Many universities accept an associate’s degree as a replacement for the first two years of coursework toward a higher degree. Someone with this degree can also enter the workplace in many careers, especially technical fields like computer science and programming. Other fields like nursing have opportunities for people with only one or two years of education, which may result in a specialized certification, rather than a degree.

Aviator College Of Aeronautical Science & Technology

All instrument time is logged in aircraft – No simulators are used for flight time. This “hands-on” approach provides the best training environment for pilots of the future. We also encourage training in actual instrument conditions. Flying at the college is 24 hours a day, seven days a week, rain or shine. Learning to fly in these conditions will give you the ability to fly anywhere in the world with the knowledge and experience required.  College President

Aviator College specializes specifically only on the development and training of future commercial pilots world-wide.
Aviator College is approved through the Accrediting Commission for Career Schools & Colleges, the State of Florida’s Commission for Independent Education and the Federal Department of Education to award two-year Associate’s Degrees in Aeronautical Science with a concentration in Flight Instruction.

To earn the Associate’s Degree in Aeronautical Science the student must earn a minimum of 71 credit hours

The mission of Aviator College of Aeronautical Science & Technology is to provide practical and educational opportunities that emphasize the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary for a fulfilling career in aviation throughout a lifetime of technological and social change. We recognize that education is vital in developing skills needed for a productive society and essential in promoting the individual’s sense of worth, values, and high ethical standards. Our institution is committed to offering quality education that meets the needs of its students and assisting them in clarifying and pursuing their professional and educational goals in aviation. In fulfilling the mission of the Aviator, our institution sets forth the following objectives, which reflect the overall goals of the College. To provide a generous selection of academic curricula and specialized programs in aviation science enriched with instruction in general education To provide the students with a background of experience and job skills that will enhance their employability.

To lead the students in the self-discovery process of clarifying and raising the individual’s goals and achievements commensurate with their potential
To provide the students with the knowledge, skills and proficiency which contribute to success in their careers
To make available to our students activities and experiences through various internships that will foster personal growth and leadership qualities and will assist students in their vocational, academic and social pursuit
To provide a framework and atmosphere of learning that will enhance the student’s capability to demonstrate ethical and moral values in professional and personal situations
To strive for and maintain excellence in aviation and general education by continuously and systematically reviewing classroom facilities, equipment, curricula, faculty, and staff
To provide placement assistance for graduates and students through individual counseling
To maintain a process of communication with the community of employers to assure relevant curricula to meet the developing needs of the aviation industry.

  • Financing available on all programs for those who qualify.
  • VETERANS – Chapter 33 & Chapter 30 Benefits for Flight Training
  • Approved to enroll students for Flight School with Post 9/11 Benefits!
  • F-1 & M-1 VISA Approved for International Students
  • Issued to International Flight Training Students!
  • Classroom Environment
  • All classes taught in our educational center, NOT online
  • MORE Multi-Engine Time
  • A Minimum of 200 Hours Multi-Engine Flight Time!
  • DEDICATED to Your Success as a Airline Pilot
  • Graduate with a Degree, your Pilots Licenses and get Hired!
  • PROFESSIONAL Flight School Instructors
  • All Faculty are Pilots and College Graduates!
  • FOCUSED On Airline Pilot Flight Training Programs
  • For over 25 years, Flying and Flight Training has been our Passion!

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Online Enrollment
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Tactical And Operational Errors in Pilot’s Decision Making Process

Tactical And Operational Errors in Pilot’s Decision Making ProcessPilot error refers to any action or decision – or lack of proper action – made by a pilot that plays a role in an accident. This may include a simple mistake, a lapse in judgment or failure to exercise due diligence. There are two types of pilot errors according to Aviation Safety Magazine:

  1. Tactical errors, which are related to a pilot’s poor actions or decisions, often caused by fatigue, inebriation or lack of experience
  2. Operational errors, related to problems with flight instruction and training.

In fact, pilot error is the leading cause of commercial airline accidents, with close to 80% percent of accidents caused by pilot error, according to Boeing. The other 20% are mainly due to faulty equipment and unsafe, weather-related flying conditions.

Although policies put in place to reduce pilot error are not universal across the world, there are varying guidelines about how long a pilot can captain a flight, how many co-pilots should be present and how many hours a pilot can fly before taking mandatory breaks. There are also varying guidelines about how many hours of training pilots must complete, below what altitude they should not hand over control of a plane and when they should abort landings.

“Pilot judgment is the process of recognizing and analyzing all available information about oneself, the aircraft and the flying environment, followed by the rational evaluation of alternatives to implement a timely decision which maximizes safety. Pilot judgment thus involves one’s attitudes toward risk-taking and one’s ability to evaluate risks and make decisions based upon one’s knowledge, skills and experience. A judgment decision always involves a problem or choice, an unknown element, usually a time constraint, and stress. ” (Transport Canada: Judgment Training Manual).

The causal factor in about 80% to 85% of civil aviation accidents; is the human element, in other words, pilot error, a poor decision or a series of poor decisions made by the pilot-in-command. This concept is known as the poor judgment chain. One poor decision increases the probability of another and as the poor judgment chain grows, the probability of a safe flight decreases. The judgment training program teaches techniques; for breaking the chain by teaching the pilot to, recognize the combination of events that result in an accident and to deal with the situation correctly in time to prevent the accident from occurring.

How a pilot handles his or her responsibilities as a Pilot depends on attitude. Attitudes are learned. They can be developed through training into a mental framework that encourages good pilot judgment.

The pilot decision making training program is based on recognition of five, hazardous attitudes.

  1. Anti-authority. This attitude is common in those who do not like anyone telling them what to do.
  2. Resignation. Some people do not see themselves as making a great deal of difference in what happens to them and will go along with anything that happens.
  3. Impulsivity. Some people need to do something, anything, immediately without stopping to think about what is the best action to take.
  4. Invulnerability. Some people feel that accidents happen to other people but never to themselves. Pilots who think like this are more likely to take unwise risks.
  5. Macho. Some people need to always prove that they are better than anyone else and take risks to prove themselves and impress others.

Pilots who learn to recognize these hazardous attitudes in themselves can also learn how to counteract them, can learn to control their first instinctive response and can learn to make a rational judgment based on good common sense.

The DECIDE acronym was developed to assist a pilot in the decision making process.

D – detect change.
E – estimate the significance of the change.
C – choose the outcome objective.
l – identify plausible action options.
D – do the best action.
E – evaluate the progress.

Using the DECIDE process requires the pilot to contemplate the outcome of the action taken. The successful outcome should be the action that will result in no damage to the aircraft or injury to the occupants.

When a pilot receives a license to fly, he is being given the privilege to use public airspace and air navigation facilities. He is expected to adhere to the rules and to operate an aircraft safely and carefully. He is expected to use good judgment and act responsibly. Decision- making is a continuous adjustive process that starts before take-off and does not stop until after the final landing is made safely. Positive attitudes toward flying, learned judgment skills, will improve a pilot’s chances of having a long and safe flying career. Source

The I’M SAFE Checklist

Evaluating our personal airworthiness can be a difficult and demanding task. One tool to help make that assessment is the I’M SAFE checklist. Each letter represents one of six important factors affecting our ability to fly safely and engage in effective decision making. If you find yourself deficient in any of these areas, your decision-making ability may be compromised, and the no-go decision should be made.

Illness-Any form of illness can affect our ability to safely operate an aircraft. Remember that the symptoms of colds and other minor illnesses can be exacerbated by changes in pressure that result from changes in altitude. Sinus blockage caused by a head cold, for example, can result in severe vertigo. If you wouldn’t be able to pass an FAA medical exam, or if you have any condition that might alter your ability to safely operate an aircraft, the only safe choice is not to fly.

Medication-On the heels of illness is medication. Pilots are often tempted to use over-the-counter remedies to mask the effects of illnesses such as colds, but these remedies may have side effects that severely affect our judgment and decision making. If you are considering flying while taking any medication, first consult your aviation medical examiner.

Stress-Numerous forms of stress can alter our decision-making ability. Remember that the psychological stresses of work, school, family, or personal life are carried with you into the cockpit and can degrade your performance. Physical stress such as hot or cold temperature, high humidity, noise, vibration, and turbulence can take their toll on your decision-making ability. Hard work and the resulting soreness and fatigue can conspire against us as well. Stresses are also cumulative, so before you decide to fly, consider all the stresses acting upon you and the potential cumulative effect.

Alcohol-All pilots should know better than to mix alcohol with flying. The federal aviation regulations prohibit flying within eight hours of drinking alcoholic beverages, when under the influence of alcohol (or other drugs), or any time blood alcohol levels exceed .04 percent. Remember, too, that many cold remedies include alcohol as an active ingredient, so be certain not to use these before flying.

Fatigue-It’s difficult to think clearly and rationally when you’re tired. Mental abilities as well as motor coordination can be severely compromised when a pilot is tired. If you haven’t had adequate rest, don’t fly.

Eating-Nutrition is another important factor that contributes to mental processes, including decision making. If you haven’t been eating properly or drinking enough fluids, don’t expect to be a safe pilot. Your body cannot perform its best if it doesn’t have the nutrients and fluids it needs. source

Pilot Training in Florida

The programs at Aviator Flight School are designed to provide what the airline industry demands of future commercial pilots. The training you will receive at Aviator is one of the most intensive and challenging programs offered in aviation flight training today.

Schedule a Visit
Contact Aviator
Speak with Flight Instructor, call 772-672-8222.

ATP Pilot Comes With Highest Responsibility and Extensive Flight Training

ATP Pilot Comes With Highest Responsibility and Extensive Flight TrainingAn airline transport pilot (ATP) is a person who acts as the pilot in command of a commercial aircraft. The airline transport pilot certification is the highest level of certification a pilot can earn, and once the pilot has earned such certification, he or she can operate as the pilot in command of any aircraft that carries cargo or passengers. The pilot is solely responsible for the safety of the aircraft, cargo, and passengers on board.

Once fully certified and licensed, the airline transport pilot will be responsible for all operations of the airplane before, during, and immediately after the flight. This means inspecting the plane before the flight, preparing the plane for departure from a gate, preparing the plane for takeoff, operating the plane during flight and addressing any issues that may arise during flight, landing the plane, taxiing the plane to a gate, and shutting down the plane after the flight. The safety of the plane, passengers, and cargo is the primary responsibility of the airline transport pilot.

ATP Eligibility
  1. To be eligible for an Airline Transport Pilot certificate, you must know English and:
  2. Be at least 23 years of age; AND
  3. Be of good moral character.
You must already hold one of the following pilot certificates:

If US certified: at least a commercial pilot with an instrument rating; OR

ICAO country: ATP or commercial pilot with an instrument rating, without limitations, subject to background check.

New ATP Pilot Certification Requirements Issued By FAA

On July 7, 2013, the FAA released the Final Rule for pilot certification and qualification requirements for air carrier operations –commonly referred to as the “First Officer Qualification (FOQ) Rule” or “1,500 Hour Rule.” The Final Rule was published in the Federal Register on 7/15/2013, effective immediately.

Pilots applying for an air transport pilot (ATP) certificate and those intending to serve as first officers for airlines will be the ones most affected by the new rule. But it will also affect pilots wanting to serve as pilot in command in Part 121 air carrier operations, part 91 subpart K operations, or Part 135 operations because of changes to requirements for obtaining an ATP certificate.

Pilots pursuing an ATP certificate after July 31, 2014, in addition to having 1,500 hours, will have to complete a new, yet-to-be developed, ATP certification training program. The program, consisting of 30 hours of ground and 10 hours of simulator training, must be completed prior to being eligible to take the ATP written and practical tests. The 10 hours of simulator training will include six hours of training in a level C or D (full-motion) simulator. According to the rule, this course will only be offered through Part 141, 142, 135, or 121 certificate holders, not allowing for Part 61 flights schools to develop courses and provide the training.

The new rule also establishes a new ATP certificate with restricted privileges for multiengine airplane only. The restricted ATP certificate can only be used to serve as a first officer at an air carrier. To obtain that certificate an applicant must be at least 21 years old, hold a commercial pilot certificate with an instrument rating, complete an ATP certification training program, and pass the ATP written and knowledge tests. For the restricted ATP certificate, applicants do get some relief as they are required to have at least 750 hours total time as a military pilot; at least 1,000 hours total time and a bachelor’s degree with an aviation major; at least 1,250 hours total time and an associate’s degree with an aviation major; or 1,500 hours total time as pilot. Source

ATP Pilot Job Description

Airline pilots fly airplanes or helicopters transporting passengers and cargo.
Usually the cockpit crew is made up of two pilots. The more experience is the captain supervising other crew members. The copilot, often called the first office, along with the pilot share a range of duties including monitoring instruments and communicating with air traffic controllers. Some small aircrafts only have one pilot and some large ones have a third—the flight engineer. New technology can take on many flight tasks and now almost all new aircraft fly with just two pilots who use computerized controls.

Airline pilots must plan flights before departure. They also need to check their aircraft to ensure everything is running properly and that baggage or cargo is properly loaded. They work with aviation weather forecasters and flight dispatchers to determine conditions at their destination and en route. They then choose a speed, altitude and route to provide the smoothest, most economical and safest flight possible. When there is poor visibility, airline pilots fly under instrument flight rules using an instrument flight plan with air traffic control so it can coordinate with other air traffic.

The hardest part of the job for airline pilots is the takeoff and landing. The two pilots must work in close coordination so that the pilot can focus on the runway or the direction of the wind, while the copilot scans the instrument panel and checks to see when the plane reaches takeoff speed for example. The two usually switch back and forth flying each leg from takeoff to landing.

In good weather flights are usually routine. Airline pilots steer their plane using autopilot and flight management computer systems. They scan the instruments to check their systems. If they hit turbulence or want to find a stronger tailwind for example, they may request a change in altitude from air traffic controllers. Helicopter pilots must be on the lookout for obstacles such as transmission towers or power lines. All airline pilots must monitor warning devices that detect dangerous and sudden shifts in wind.

When visibility is poor airline pilots must rely on their instruments including altimeter readings, special navigation radios and other sophisticated equipment that gives them information about their position and obstacles.

Airline pilots also have non-flying duties, but those tasks vary from job to job. Under the Flight Deck Officer program some airline pilots undergo training and screening to be deputized as Federal law enforcement officers to protect the cockpit with issued firearms. Others may have to handle passenger luggage, keep records, schedule flights or load the aircraft.

Some airline pilots are also flight instructors teaching on the ground, in simulators or using dual-controlled aircraft.
Many airline pilots spend much of their time away from home due to overnight layovers. The Airline Pilot’s Association calculates this number to be 360 hours a month. Away from home, airlines provide a meal allowance, hotel accommodations and transportation.

Jet leg is a common complaint of airline pilots, especially those on international routes. Flying can also cause mental stress as aircraft pilots are responsible for a safe flight in all conditions. They must be alert and quick to react when things go wrong.

The FAA regulates flying time by the hours per month and year. Most airline pilots fly about 75 hours a month and may work an additional 140 hours per month completing nonflying duties. Most have variable work schedules and must work irregular hours including night and weekend hours. Flight schedules are based on seniority. Source

Airline Pilot Training Programs from Aviator Academy
Professional Pilot Program

  • 259 Flight Hours
  • Ground School Class Pre& Post Flight Ground
  • Training in a College Campus Atmosphere
  • Single Engine Private Pilot
  • Private Multi-Engine
  • Single-Engine Instrument
  • Multi-Engine Instrument
  • Multi-Engine Commercial
  • Single Engine Commercial
  • Multi-Engine Flight Instructor
  • Instrument Flight Instructor
  • Single Engine Flight Instructor

160 hours of Multi-Engine Time

  • Aircraft for check rides
  • Cross Country flying coast-to-coast
  • No FTDs (Simulators) used towards flight time
  • *CRJ Jet Transition Program
  • Pilot Career Planning & Interviewing Class
  • 6 Months of housing

Cost: $52,785.00
6 Months of Housing is Included

Subtract -$6,100.00 if you hold a Private Pilot Certificate

Contact Aviator

Are You A Helicopter Or Airplane Pilot. Learn About Each Pilot’s Career Path

Are You A Helicopter Or Airplane Pilot. Learn About Each Pilot’s Career PathYou know you have a passion to fly. To begin training to be a pilot, you also need to know what you want to fly and the type of flying you want to do. Federal Aviation Administration’s rules for getting a pilot’s license (certificate) differ depending on the type of aircraft you fly. You can choose among airplanes, gyroplanes, helicopters, gliders, balloons, or airships. You should also think about what type of flying you want to do. In this blog, we will cover flight training and job opportunities for helicopter and airplane pilots.

Flying a helicopter is completely different from flying an airplane, but that doesn’t mean it’s any harder. Airplanes and helicopters have many commonalities and differences.

Key Differences Between Helicopter and Airplane Pilots

The main difference is the obvious one; Airplanes and Helicopters are completely different machines with different flight characteristics, capabilities and missions. Job opportunities and variety of it may be different but flight training to become a helicopter or airplane pilot is the same. It all begins with a flight school where you train for your new career. Both Helicopter and Airplane Pilots undergo similar flight training in order to receive the ratings necessary to launch a career. Upon completion of your flight training, you will be presented with a few options. Airplane Pilots may find themselves doing Arial Towing of Advertising Banners, Crop Dusting or a similar line of work in order to gain the experience necessary to take their career to an Airline. Helicopter Pilots generally follow a career track of first becoming a Certified Flight Instructor teaching students as they continue to hone their skills and build their flight time. Becoming an Instructor is also an option for the Airplane Pilot as well. Either way, you will need to land your first entry level piloting job in order to progress your career.

Which Career Path is For You?
Helicopter Pilot Opinion.

This is where there’s a key difference between Helicopters and Airplanes. As a current Helicopter Instructor Pilot,

I will do my best to not be biased here…difficult as that may be! Once you build your time and get the required 1500 hours as an airplane pilot you will need to get what the FAA calls an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate, known as your ATP. This is a requirement for Airplane Pilots in order to begin working for Air Carrier operators. Once you are there, you can enjoy a lucrative career as an Airline Pilot working for a major Air Carrier hauling passengers or cargo. This can prove to be an excellent career. Now here comes the Helicopter Pilot in me: do you want to fly straight line distances at 30,000 feet on autopilot, or do you want to FLY in a dynamic environment? You have to ask yourself what type of flying you actually want to be doing.

Pilot Training

The first step in Airplane Flight Training is to get a Private Pilot License (PPL), followed by a Commercial Pilot License (CPL). Pilots with PPL in hand can enjoy flying but cannot get paid to transport. CPL license allows you to get paid for transporting passengers.

Learning to fly is a matter of acquiring aeronautical knowledge, flight proficiency, and experience. Think of the process of earning a recreational or private pilot certificate as a series of steps. Some steps, such as aeronautical knowledge, can be integrated throughout your training process. Others, like solo training, come when your instructor has provided the required training and he or she decides that you are ready. The process can be broken down into the following subjects:

Aeronautical Knowledge and FAA Knowledge Test
  • Pre-solo training
  • Solo training
  • Cross-county training (for private pilots)
  • Solo cross-county training (for private pilots)
  • Practical Test preparation
  • Practical Test

Every hour you earn adds to airline flight training. Some aviation careers pay a lot better than others, and each promise different lifestyles. Think about where you would like to be in 20 years. This will help you with your decisions now and in the future.

To land a job as a pilot you need to ake any job you can get in an aviation company, even if it does not involve flying at first. Stay positive, work hard and work on your skills to show it off. In aviation, networking is paramount, and people help people they know, like and trust.

Airline flight training never ends, even once in the airline there will always be another aircraft to convert to, requiring weeks of training.

As a Commercial Pilot you may work for an Airline, or a Charter Company, and the company’s consideration is made based on whether you have an Instrument and Twin Engine rating, preferably turbine or jet time as well. If you want to progress up the ranks, you will have to get your Airline Transport Pilots License. Although “Airline Pilot” is the most thought of job associated with the word “pilot” it is not the only one in aviation field.

Helicopter Job Opportunities

There are some truly exciting jobs open to helicopter pilots. In the civilian area, there are opportunities with law enforcement, TV and radio news, traffic reporting, hospital patient transport, aerial photo, agricultural spraying, offshore oil work, heavy-lift, sightseeing, fire fighting, fish-spotting, pilot flight training, and corporate transportation — just to name a few.

State and Federal governmental agencies also employ helicopter pilots for conservation, forestry, survey, research, search and rescue, etc. U.S. agencies like Customs, the Border Patrol, the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), the FBI, and others hire (and sometimes train) professional helicopter pilots.

In the military area, all branches of the Armed Forces train helicopter pilots for a wide variety of jobs. The Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard all use helicopters in their day-to-day missions not only for combat and troop transport, but for search-and-rescue, anti-submarine patrols, and moving troops and material. Source

Possible Career Paths for the Experienced Helicopter Pilot
  • EMS Pilot
  • Pipeline Patrol Pilot
  • Offshore Oil Rig Pilot
  • Air Tour Pilot
  • Charter Pilot
  • Logging Pilot
  • Bush Pilot
  • Border Patrol
  • Local, State or Federal Law Enforcement
  • Professional Instructor Pilot


Airline Pilot Jobs and Opportunities

Pilots who earn a living at the “majors,” such as United, American, Delta, and Federal Express, fly large jet equipment such as Boeing’s 737, 757, and 777. The average salary for a major airline pilot is in the $100,000 range, with senior captains flying mega-size airplanes (i.e., Boeing 747/400) earning up to $200,000 annually. For flying professionals associated with the “regionals,” smaller turboprop airplanes are the norm. Entry-level salary for a commuter pilot is invariably in the $20,000 to $25,000 range; a captain on a new regional jet can earn $70,000 to $110,000 annually with seniority.

Major airlines, the companies that are most highly desired and attract the most competitive candidates, will require in the neighborhood of 1,500 to 3,000 flight time hours and about 300 to 500 hours of multiengine time for application acceptance. Additionally, a four-year college degree is virtually a must because more than 80 percent of pilots interviewed had at least a four-year degree.

Most regional airlines require about 1,500 total hours, including 500 hours in multiengine airplanes. However, a few companies have been known to hire applicants with only 1,000 hours of total flight time and 100 hours of multiengine experience. Although a college degree is helpful, it is not a requirement.

Licenses Needed for Pilot Careers

Airline Pilot (CPL okay, but will need ATLP eventually)
Corporate Pilot (CPL okay, ATLP recommended)
Fire Spotter Pilot (VFR CPL)
Survey Pilot (VFR CPL)
Charter Pilot (CPL to ATPL)
Flight Instructor (CPL, ATPL for DE qualification required)
Medical evacuation Pilot (IF CPL minimum)
Fire Bomber Pilot (VFR CPL)
Crop Sprayer/Agricultural Pilot (VFR CPL)
Crop Sprayer / Agricultural Pilot (VFR CPL)
Contract Pilot (IF CPL minimum)
Aerobatic Display Pilot (VFR PPL / CPL)
Bush Pilot (VFR CPL)
Police Pilot (VFR CPL minimum)
Nature Conservation Pilot (VFR PPL / CPL)
Airforce Pilot.(Military qualification, in-house)

Pilot School Locator
Aviator Flight School Pro Pilot Program

The programs at Aviator Flight School are designed to provide what the airline industry demands of future commercial pilots. The training you will receive at Aviator is one of the most intensive and challenging programs offered in aviation flight training today.

During your flight training you will fly a total of 259 hours, of which up to 200 hours will be in a multi-engine aircraft. The ground school portion is in a structured classroom environment. As the shortage of pilots continues to grow, Aviator College is consistently meeting with major air carriers to determine the flight training and education that they require.
You will receive a minimum of 643 instructional hours for the Professional Pilot Program.The instructional hours includes all ground and flight training. 6 months of housing is included in the price of the program. If you come with a Private Pilot License 5 months will be included in the price of the Program.

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Flight Training Environment in US Pilot Schools

Flight Training Environment in US Pilot SchoolsThere are about 3,400 pilot schools operating in the United States. The most basic difference among the types of schools is the flight training environment provided to the students. For the reporting purposes of our study, we divided them into three categories:

  1. non-collegiate flight instructor-based schools
  2. non-collegiate vocational pilot schools,
  3. collegiate aviation schools.
Non-Collegiate Flight Instructor-Based School (Part 61).

Pilot training conducted under Part 61 regulations is often provided by an individual, for-hire flight instructor who can operate independently as a single-instructor school at a local airport with a single aircraft on which to train students. Other flight instructor-based schools operate as a more traditional training school with a small, physical facility located at a particular airport. These schools are the most common type. The majority of students that complete training in non-collegiate, flight instructor-based schools are generally interested in recreational flying, although most commercial pilots in the United States also undertake this type of training as the initial path toward becoming an airline pilot. Flight instructor-based schools offer flexible training environments to meet specific students’ needs as long as they pass the final tests. These schools are not subject to direct FAA oversight beyond the initial certification and subsequent renewal of the flight instructor’s certificate. However, flight instructors may be inspected by FAA when a triggering event occurs regarding the training being provided, such as being involved in an aircraft accident.

Non-Collegiate Vocational Pilot Schools (Part 141)

Vocational schools elect to apply for an operating certificate from FAA to provide pilot training under Part 141 regulations. Part 141 regulations require these schools to meet prescribed standards with respect to training equipment, facilities, student records, personnel, and curriculums. Vocational schools must have structured and formalized programs and have their detailed training course outlines or curriculums approved by FAA. Curriculums can vary in content, but FAA provides fundamental core training guidelines that must be followed within the curriculum for the school to receive a certificate. These schools do not allow the flexibility of flight instructor-based schools as the training sequence outlined in the curriculum cannot be altered. FAA requires annual inspections of these schools, unlike flight instructor-based schools.

Collegiate aviation schools (Part 61 or Part 141).

Pilot training is also provided through 2-and 4-year colleges and universities, which typically offer an undergraduate aviation-based degree along with the pilot certificates and ratings necessary to become a commercial pilot.
In general, most of the collegiate aviation schools provide pilot training under a Part 141 certificate, although they can provide training under Part 61. Collegiate schools that provide training under Part 61 regulations generally offer similar structured, curriculum- based training as collegiate schools with a Part 141 certificate. Source

Choosing a Pilot School

While most of the research is done on the internet, the decision to choose a flight school cannot be made based on the information you see on the website or the literature you download or request by mail. It is highly recommended to visit the flight school you are considering so you can interview flight instructors, attending students and inquire about the flight training programs in detail.

When you schedule a visit with flight school, your first contact will likely be an admissions officer or the chief flight instructor. Listen closely and ask questions about everything. If you don’t understand something, ask! During your tour, ensure that no area is left unvisited, from administrative offices to the maintenance area.

Interview the flight school’s chief flight instructor or his or her assistant. Some questions to ask:

  1. Are progressive flight checks given? (These checks evaluate your progress during the pilot training program.)
  2. What’s the instructor-to-student ratio? (Generally speaking, an instructor can adequately educate four of five full-time students, or 10 or more part-timers, depending on their schedules.)
  3. Who schedules flying lessons, and how is it done?
  4. What are the insurance requirements of the school, and how do its liability and collision policies work? Will you be responsible for a deductible, and how much is that deductible in the event of a loss? What is your coverage as a student pilot?
  5. Who keeps your records? (This is important because poor documentation can cause you to repeat training.)
  6. What happens when weather or maintenance problems cancel a flying lesson? Who’s responsible for rescheduling lessons and reporting maintenance problems? Source

After the official tour, try to talk to other students in flight training. Ask them to rate the training’s quality and explain what problems they’ve had, if any, and how they were dealt with.

Other important flight training information resources can be the local FAA flight standards district office, the Better Business Bureau, and the Chamber of Commerce. They may offer important insights on such topics as a school’s safety record and business practices. Don’t forget such applicable sources as the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, National Air Transportation Association, Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology, if so accredited, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service, if you are an international student.

Why Choose Aviator Flight School For Your Pilot Training
  • Licensed by the State of Florida Commission For Independent Education License #4155
  • Aviator Flight Training Academy is a Division of Aviator College of Aeronautical Science & Technology, which is licensed by the State of Florida Commission for Independent Education and Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.
  • 27 Years in the Flight Training Industry. To date, Aviator has trained over 5000 pilots for the commercial airline industry.
  • Only School Offering 200 Hours of Multi-Engine Time
  • Aviator is the only flight school that has a full 200 hours of multi-engine time included in our program
  • No Flight Training Devices (Simulators)
  • FTDs are not used towards your flight time for any ratings
  • Approved by the Federal Department of Education to offer Title IV Loans
  • Aviator has the ability to offer students federal funding on approved accredited programs
  • Job Placement Assistance with Regional Airlines
  • Aviator offers job placement assistance for our graduates
  • “A” Rating with United States Better Business Bureau
  • Classroom Environment – All classes taught in our educational center, NOT online

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FAA Certified Pilot Training Provider

FAA Certified Pilot Training ProviderTo be successful in any career, solid education is a must. To take advantage of aviation’s rewards, you must make sure you get the good, solid information and aviation training that you’ll need to be a safe, confident pilot in the air. One of the most important steps in that process is finding the right flight school.

Choose A Pilot School According To Your Needs

Before you begin a flight school /home/about-us/flight-school.aspx search, outline your goals. What aspects of generation aviation attract you? Do you want to fly for a living or just have a hobby you can support? Why do you want to learn to fly? What is your ultimate, long-term aviation goal? Will your flying be local, or do you want to use general aviation aircraft to travel? You must make your own decision on where to obtain flight training. Once you have decided on a general location, you might want to make a checklist of things to look for in a training provider. By talking to pilots and reading articles in flight magazines, you can make your checklist and evaluate different options. Your choice of a provider might depend on whether you are planning on obtaining a recreational or private certificate or whether you intend to pursue a career as a professional pilot. Another consideration is whether you will train part-time or full-time.

Pilot training is available on-site at most airports, either through an FAA-certificated (approved) pilot school* or through other training providers. An approved school may be able to provide a greater variety of training aids, dedicated facilities, and more flexibility in scheduling. A number of colleges and universities also provide pilot training as a part of their curricula. Source

*FAA-approved pilot schools are certificated in accordance with Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations part 141 .

To find a flight school with FAA certification, visit FAA link.

Flight schools come in two flavors, Part 61 and Part 141, which refer to the parts of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) under which they operate. The most common and least important distinction between them is the minimum flight time required for the private pilot certificate (sometimes called a pilot license)—40 hours under Part 61, and 35 hours under Part 141.

Considering that the national average for earning a private pilot certificate is 60-75 hours (how long you’ll take will depend on your ability and flying frequency), this difference isn’t important for initial pilot training. It does make a difference to commercial pilot applicants: Part 61 requires 250 hours, and Part 141 requires 190.
What differentiates the two is structure and accountability. Part 141 schools are periodically audited by the FAA and must have detailed, FAA-approved course outlines and meet student pilot performance rates. Part 61 schools don’t have the same paperwork and accountability requirements.

Learning under Part 61 rules can often give students the flexibility to rearrange flying lesson content and sequence to meet their needs, which can be of benefit to part-time students. Many Part 141 schools also train students under Part 61 rules.

Which type of flight school is best for you depends on your needs, available time, and other factors, such as veteran’s benefit eligibility (only Part 141 schools can qualify for VA-reimbursed training) and location. When it comes to the FAA checkride, which is the same for all, it doesn’t matter where you learned to fly, only how well—including your understanding of aviation academic material.

Enrollment in an FAA-approved pilot school usually ensures a high quality of training. Approved schools must meet prescribed standards with respect to equipment, facilities, personnel, and curricula. However, individual flight instructors and training companies that are not certificated by the FAA as “pilot schools” may also offer high quality training, but find it impractical to qualify for FAA certification.

Another difference between training provided by FAA-approved pilot schools and other providers is that fewer flight hours are required to be eligible for a pilot certificate when the training is received through an approved school. The flight hour requirement for a private pilot certificate is normally 40 hours, but may be reduced to 35 hours when training with an approved school. However, since most people require 60 to 75 hours of training, this difference may be insignificant. Source

Advantages and Disadvantages of Flight Training Regulations

Making your decision about which flight school to attend requires you to evaluate and understand FAA requirements. When a flight school talks about training under Part 61 or being a Part 141 approved school /FlightSchool, it is talking about the federal regulations under which it has the authority to train pilots. Both sets of regulations define minimum requirements for pilot training and certification.

The table below describes some of the potential advantages and disadvantages for the training regulations. It may be noted that some criteria can be both, depending on the student’s training goals.
FAA certified flight school

Aviator Flight School Accreditation and Licensing

Although flight schools fall into two basic categories, Part 61 or Part 141, there is a third category that bears serious consideration by prospective pilots, particularly those planning a professional piloting career: nationally accredited pilot training institutions. Accredited flight schools must meet rigid standards of accountability for virtually every area of operation and must apply to an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Aviator College offers FAA-certified Part 141 approved flight programs provide students with the skills and experience demanded by today’s commercial aviation industry. Aviator is accredited by the ACCSC (Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges).

  • FAA Certified. All flight training courses at Aviator College of Aeronautical Science & Technology are certified by the FAA Certificate # BEJS028K.
  • State of Florida Licensed. Aviator College of Aeronautical Science & Technology is licensed by the State of Florida to offer a degree program, license #4155.
  • Accreditation. Aviator College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools, and Colleges (ACCSC).
  • Title IV Approved. The Federal Department of Education has approved Aviator College to administer Title IV funds in the form of FFEL Loans, Direct Loans, PELL Grants and more.
  • BBB A Rating. Aviator College has earned an “A” rating” with the United States Better Business Bureau

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